(PresidentialInsider.com)- Bill Barr has recently been applauded for finally publicly opposing his former employer, rejecting Donald Trump’s claims of election fraud in testimony before the committee on January 6, and repeatedly denouncing both Trump’s theft of classified government documents and the peculiar court decision allowing a special master to examine Trump’s absurd claims on Fox News. Most people applaud Barr for his recent dalliance with the truth, even though others have remarked that this sudden shift does not make up for the egregious mismanagement of his office during the 22 months he served as attorney general.
It’s one thing to get credit for bringing the public conversation closer to reality, but nobody should believe that Barr is changing his mind about the terrible things he did while in government. Contrarily, when one understands the guiding convictions and goals that have led Barr throughout his adult life, it makes perfect sense that he recently disparaged Trump in a way that is likely to seriously harm his chances of winning the presidency.
Recall that Barr sought the chance to be Trump’s attorney general by sending a memo in June 2018 that elaborated on his long-held, astounding belief that the Founders intended for the president to have essentially no restrictions placed on his authority. Barr has been thinking about those ideas since the 1980s. In the memo, Barr used this vision to critique Trump’s fixation at the time, contending that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry was an entirely unjustified infringement on such rights.
Barr clamors for Trump’s attention in the June 2018 memorandum because Trump provided a rare opportunity to further Barr’s long-term goal of an autocratic president. Trump openly preached the belief that he could “do whatever [he] wanted as president,” unlike any of his predecessors whose administrations he served in and most definitely unlike George H. W. Bush. Trump’s reelection in 2020 was necessary for Barr to transform him into his vision of an autocratic leader, and Barr vigorously fought for legal amendments that would virtually prevent intervention with the president’s decisions.
In a powerful speech given to the Federalist Society on November 15, 2019, Barr carefully outlined the nature of those changes and his determination to pursue them. Barr made the case that, in contrast to “the grammar-school civics-class version” of the Founders’ government as one of checks and balances, the founding generation intended for the president to exercise unchecked authority.
Barr’s Justice Department also took legal action in favor of the president’s ability to redirect funds for the border wall that Congress had repeatedly refused to finance.
Attorney General Barr’s resignation comes after a series of scandals involving President Trump, including the Mar-a-Lago docs leak and his call for all US attorneys to look into any election fraud claims.
Barr has concluded that Trump has possibly become the biggest impediment to fulfilling his vision of an autocratic presidency rather than the essential component.